Inquiries of Tier 2 and Tier 3 Instruction


Struggling to engage your Tier 2 & 3 students? Learn how to build positive relationships, tap into their interests, and embed learning into preferred activities & routines. Discover tips for multiple learning modes, peer support, and personalized strategies. Get ready to ignite engagement and boost learning!

Part 2: Intensifying Instruction By Increasing Learner Engagement

In Part 1 of this series, we explored how high-quality interactions can enhance instruction. Now, we shift our focus to another key element within your control: increasing learner engagement.

Signs of Low Engagement

Identifying low engagement is crucial when deciding if you need to adjust your approach. Consider these questions:

  • Does the learner consistently avoid participating in or completing embedded learning opportunities?
  • Does the learner exhibit challenging behaviors before or during interventions/embedded learning?
  • Does the learner sometimes act incapable of performing tasks they’ve previously mastered?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, consider increasing engagement in your student’s intervention. This intensification can be done subtly through many avenues, all of which rely on building a relationship with the learner and tapping into their interests.

Student Interests and Preferences

Consider the learner’s interests and preferences such as reinforcers, preferred materials, and preferred peers (complete a preference assessment with family input, if necessary):

  • Does the learner have a classmate they work well with?
  • Does the learner respond well to frequent check-ins to help them stay on track and gain confidence?
  • Does the learner have a choice in the topic?

Embed Instruction and Practice into Preferred Routines and Activities

Considering embedding the instruction practice during highly preferred routines and activities:

  • Does the learner enjoy physical activity? Incorporate movement into your lesson.
  • Does the learner love sharks? Choose books about sharks, have writing prompts about sharks, or do math problems about sharks.

Multiple Modes to Learn and Practice

Considering multiple modes to learn and practice the skill:

  • Does the learner prefer to complete the activity digitally rather than on paper? Do they want to record their response on video?
  • Does the learner have the option to perform the task privately or to the class?
  • Consider using peers to deliver and support the embedded learning opportunity (peer-mediated intervention)
    • Is there a classmate the learner looks up to and works well with that they could mutually benefit from?

Remember: Each Child is Unique

Just like education, children are multifaceted individuals who deserve personalized learning experiences. Our focus on Tier 2 and 3 learners stems from their greater learning challenges, requiring us to invest time, effort, and adaptable instruction. Take a moment and give yourself credit for reading this blog, knowing you are doing so for the benefit of your students’ learning!

Stay Tuned and Access Resources

In our next blog in the series, we will focus on intensifying instruction through embedded learning opportunities. if you would like further information, contact one of your Literacy Consultants at Central Rivers AEA and check out our Literacy website or the Supplemental and Intensive Tiers Guide.

Jessica Kite:

Melissa Blohm:

Tina Graven: